By: Carole L. Haines
I noticed a few very poignant things I had overlooked before in reading through the Temptation of Jesus, I feel these are important for us as believers to remember. For, as the apostle Paul teaches us, we do not want to be “ignorant of the enemy’s schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) Let’s dive in and discover together how Jesus dealt with the enemy.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
And ‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. (Matthew 4:1-11)
First we learn that Jesus became hungry only after He had fasted for 40 days (vs. 2) It is after this time that the enemy decided to come and tempt Jesus to feed himself. In the second temptation, Jesus is tempted in His identity, by Satan asking, “If you are the son of God” Our enemy tried to make Eve feel that God was holding out on her by not allowing her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden. (See Genesis 3) Satan is proposing the same lie here to Jesus, “If you are…” The enemy questions our identity by asking us all the time, “If you are a child of God…” Ignore his lies and rest in God where your true life is hidden at this time. We don’t always see what God is doing, but we see God. He is enough.
Lastly, we see Satan trying once again to have Jesus provide for Himself, only this time he tempts Him to provide glory for Himself by offering “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Receive worship now, Jesus, rather than waiting for after your death, burial and resurrection. Perhaps you can be worshipped without suffering so much. The enemy loves to offer us short-cuts, but there are no short-cuts in growth and maturity. It is a long road of obedience and surrender. Jesus thwarted Satan by continually offering the truth of God’s Word. We see in Jesus’ temptation, that our enemy still uses the same strategies against us today. He tempts us to be our own providers, to question our identity in Christ and to bring glory to ourselves instead of God. Let’s learn from this beloved passage, and not be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes to thwart us in our walks with Christ. Have a Blessed Day dear brothers and sisters in Christ. God is the author and perfecter of our Identity and destiny, trust Him with your whole life.